Vetri artistici Il recupero dell’antico nel secondo Ottocento. Museo del Vetro di Murano
The Murano artistic production of the last three decades of the nineteenth century is characterized by the ability to recover ancient techniques using new manufacturing processes and thus highlighting the innovative and lively approach with which the glass industry offers itself to the art market.
Before 1870, interest in the works of the past in Murano was exclusively directed towards the Renaissance and the Baroque, and in particular in the replicas of filigree masterpieces, in great demand by collectors and unethical antique dealers. But starting from 1869 Antonio Salviati, his technicians and his masters became interested in the glass of archaeological origin preserved in the museums of Brescia, Naples, London and Vienna, the so-called Pompeian, Etruscan, Murrine, Phoenician, Christian and Assyrian glass. The first replicas have a documentary value and try to achieve an imitation as precise as possible, but then, as has often happened in the history of Murano production, the companies intercept the needs of a clientele in search of decorative objects for collection or from furniture and soon these replicas move away from the original models reaching their own autonomy.
Another interesting topic addressed in the volume is glass imitating ancient metals and marbles, in particular the famous, but often misunderstood Corinthian glass. A selection of chalcedony glass is also published, not attributable to Lorenzo Radi senior, but to his son and other Murano producers.